Hot Take: A bad Lifetime movie that somehow found a way to be shown in theaters.
It’s difficult to watch Hollywood waste $10 million. With a $10 million budget, they could have at least sprung for a halfway decent score. Unfortunately, the score is only one of the many things wrong with When the Bough Breaks. However, it’s especially torturous and hard to escape as, for some reason, the volume dominates the non-speaking parts of the film. It does nothing to deaden the pain suffered from viewing a moronic script with characters who, apparently, are intelligent enough to be a lawyer about to make partner and a chef about to become a CEO (well, for a few months until it’s off to being a mom, I guess) but not smart enough to demand a more efficient background check.
When the Bough Breaks would have been more believable if the film took place in Florida. It’s the only way Jack Olsen’s stupidity-driven script would pass the smell test. It’s as if Fatal Attraction, The Perfect Guy and every terrible Lifetime movie ever made had an orgy that resulted in this Frankenstein’s monster of a drama. At some point, you can almost see Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall realize what a terrible decision they’ve made by agreeing to be in this film and wish the movie then became about them finding a way to get out of their contract.
The only thing of interest might be to count how many ridiculous facial expressions Jaz Sinclair makes throughout this 107 minute disaster. Sinclair is beautiful and has her moments as the crazed surrogate who falls in love with Morris Chestnut’s John Taylor. As Sinclair’s Anna tries her damnedest to gain the attention of John away from his wife Laura, her facial expressions are entertainingly silly and impossible to take serious.
Almost as silly as Sinclair’s facial expressions are Theo Rossi’s who also delivers an over-the-top performance as Mike, Anna’s boyfriend who is behind a subplot to have Anna hold the unborn baby of the Taylors for ransom to get more money from the couple. This is the same character who tells John during an after-dinner conversation before Anna is even impregnated that he loves his job because he gets to be a peeping Tom and spy on lonely housewives who get freaky when they are home alone.
The predictability factor of the film does When the Bough Breaks no favors. If you aren’t two steps ahead of what’s about to happen next, you haven’t watched enough movies. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Eventually, there’s a showdown and even that’s a letdown as the protagonists help the innocent-turned-insane Anna meet her untimely demise. The movie fades to black as if the entire production gave up caring anymore and were just happy it was over. I know one viewer who would have been happier if it never began.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Steamy… Even For PG-13
Chestnut and Hall have great on-screen chemistry despite being given very little to work with. Also, Sinclair might not deliver a stellar performance but she’s easy on the eyes… especially in that red dress featured on the movie’s billboards and posters and in a scene that goes almost nowhere in the movie.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- That Musical Score
What the hell were they thinking? This is torturous and overly loud at times.
- Those Clichés
For some reasons these movies have certain bells that must be rung. That dress? Mmhmm. See the cat? Yup. Oh, there’s a knife? Uh huh. What about that shotgun? Surely.
- Beware of Screen Gems
From Obsessed to No Good Deed to The Perfect Guy to this, it’s hard to get upset with Screen Gems Productions for finding a way to make a cheap buck. Too bad it’s at the audience’s expense.